It will change the face of the Amazon basin forever; it will devastate lives and destroy the cultural identity of many indigenous tribes. I am at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. From today, June 20th to June 22nd 2012 government officials, policymakers, NGO's, academics, and members of civil society are gathering at what should be the world's most significant global forum to renew their political commitment to sustainable development, establish and reassess frameworks for a 'green economy' and assess the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development. I am not holding my breath.
The Japanese government’s rush to reactivate the country’s nuclear reactors underscores the threat posed by the capitalist profit system to the safety, health and lives of the world’s population. Just a little more than a year since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster—the second worst in world history—Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s administration has ordered the re-opening of two reactors at Oi, on Japan’s western shore. The decision was clearly driven by the demands of big business, including the energy conglomerates, overriding public opposition and basic safety concerns.
Western denunciations of Russia for sending back refurbished helicopters to Syria recall nothing so much as the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched a propaganda barrage aimed at intimidating Russia, claiming that Moscow was sending advanced Russian attack helicopters to Syria for use against the country’s civilian population. Breathlessly announcing that, according to “the latest information” available to the US government, the helicopters were on their way, Clinton condemned Moscow for behavior that “will escalate the conflict quite dramatically.”
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